Huck's Army Forum :: Faith, Family & Freedom

Demographics or
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Author:  Southern Doc [ Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Demographics or

Very intersting take on the state of the GOP regarding both demographics and ideology.

Both shifts, demographic and economic, must be addressed if Republicans are to find a way back to the majority. But the temptation for the party’s elites will be to fasten on the demographic explanation, because playing identity politics seems far less painful than overhauling the Republican economic message.

This explains why many high-profile Republicans responded to last Tuesday’s defeat by embracing some form of amnesty for illegal immigrants. Fox News’s Sean Hannity, a reliable weather vane, publicly converted to the cause of comprehensive immigration reform last week. The Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer argued that if the Republican Party embraced amnesty and nominated Marco Rubio, it would win the Hispanic vote outright in 2016, solving its demographic problem in one swoop. Judging from the noises emanating from John Boehner and Eric Cantor, the party’s Congressional leadership agrees.

No doubt a more moderate tone on immigration would help Republicans. But the idea of amnesty as a Latino-winning electoral silver bullet is a fantasy.

First, Hispanics are not single-issue voters: they can be alienated by nativism, but they can’t just be won by the promise of green cards and open borders. (After Reagan signed an amnesty bill in 1986, the Republican share of the Hispanic vote fell in the next presidential election.) Latino voters are not, as conservative strategists often claim, “natural” Republican voters — notwithstanding their (moderate) social conservatism, they tend to lean leftward on economic issues, and to see government more as an ally than a foe. They can be wooed, gradually, if Republicans address their aspirations and anxieties, but they aren’t going to be claimed in one legislative pander.

At the same time, a Republican Party that moves too far leftward on immigration risks alienating its white working-class supporters, an easily disillusioned constituency whose support the party cannot take for granted. These voters already suspect that Republican elites don’t have their interests at heart: Mitt Romney lost last week because he underperformed among minority voters, but also because a large number of working-class whites apparently stayed home. If the party’s only post-2012 adjustment is to embrace amnesty, they aren’t likely to turn out in 2016 either.

What the party really needs, much more than a better identity-politics pitch, is an economic message that would appeal across demographic lines — reaching both downscale white voters turned off by Romney’s Bain Capital background and upwardly mobile Latino voters who don’t relate to the current G.O.P. fixation on upper-bracket tax cuts.


The good news is that such an agenda already exists, at least in embryonic form. Thanks to four years of intellectual ferment, Republicans seeking policy renewal have a host of thinkers and ideas to draw from: Luigi Zingales and Jim Pethokoukis on crony capitalism, Ramesh Ponnuru and Robert Stein on tax policy, Frederick Hess on education reform, James Capretta on alternatives to Obamacare, and many more.

The bad news is that unlike a pander on immigration, a new economic agenda probably wouldn’t be favorably received by the party’s big donors, who tend to be quite happy with the Republican Party’s current positioning.

But after spending billions of those donors’ dollars with nothing to show for it, perhaps Republicans should seek a different path: one in which they raise a little less money but win a few more votes. ... yt&emc=rss

that agenda looks kinda familiar to me. Where have I seen it before? :wink:

Oh yea, I remember. That statist pastor from Arkansas who tried to wip up the populist masses. Good thing we kept him out of power or we'd be in real trouble in national elections.

Personally I think the author has nailed it. Our answer is not trying to out-bid, or out demogogue the Dems with identity politics, nor embacing an ideology of Social Darwinism that best serves the elites in society (a long term losing proposition in a democracy were every "fittest winner" or "unfit loser" has the right to vote).

But the money men don't, or won't, see it. They were stunned by Tuesdays results. We shall see if it opens their eyes. I have my doubts. I also have my vote.

Author:  WalterCan [ Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Demographics or

And here lies the real problem...the big money elites who have been used to controlling the party infrastructure WILL NOT embrace policies that reach out to the working-class and lower income voters because it is counter productive to their agenda. It is vastly important to them that power and wealth remain concentrated among the few. If you open up the economy so that entrepreneurs and small businesses have the same shot at capital and profits as the big guys then there is a diluting of the wealth (as a percentage) among the elites. If the elites have an overall lower percentage of the wealth then they also have a lower percentage of the power.

Right now the elites can buy whatever they want through lobbying and the promise of high paying jobs to politicians and their staff when they are no longer in office. If you have policies that no longer favor them then they lose control. This is why they will not tolerate anyone with a Main Street type of approach to economics.

The Republican Establishment KNOWS that there is a winning coalition that could be built with working-class whites, African Americans, Hispanics, Evangelicals, etc. that could absolutely wipe the floor with liberals in almost any part of the country, but they will fight with everything they have to not let this happen. If a candidate appears that they cannot control they will land on them with the entire Establishment with all its money and all its media friends to make sure they do not win in the primary. And if one does break through they will run a 3rd party candidate to make sure they don't win the Presidency.

Author:  QuoVadisAnima [ Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Demographics or

I fear you are right, WalterCan. I also fear that we are becoming more like Western Europe where the pols are all essentially cut from the same cloth & the people feel they have very little control over the political process.

What good does it do to "fire" one pol when the next alternative you're given is virtually the same as the last?

Politicians used to come from different social classes, but now I think they have become their own class.

I hate to be so cynical - someone throw me some (real) hope!

Author:  Southern Doc [ Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Demographics or

Discussing "how did the Great Mitt lost" over at race42012 and it's scary what some folks takeaways are. Such as:

“Mitt Romney had everything any smart pundit would have said the Republican nominee needed in 2012″

And that is what is wrong with the current conservative movement.

We need candidates that don’t need to be packaged and sold to be appealing. We actually have them but the brutality of the process keeps the sane ones away.

The donor base drives the process by only backing those candidates who are completely sympathetic (and/or compliant) to the interests of the party economic elite. They then shower them with donations in a clear effort to scare off potential rivals (who may actually be far more attractive or viable canidates but are less connected to, or trusted to serve, the donor base’s policy priorities). The only folks who press on are candidates from rival elite factions, egomaniacs, quixotic reformers, true believers, and folks angling to just finish in the money so as to be viable in the next cycle.

Romney is the latest, and in many ways the saddest example, of how the current process spits out weak canidates and is robbing the conservative movement of potential leaders who could do more than just be dragged to 50% plus 1 but could actually grow the party.

The good news may be just how close Huck or Santorum got in 2008 and 12. Social networking is a real threat to the gatekeepers in both parties. Advertising is looking less and less effective compared to social media. The bosses will adjust (likely hiring armies of hackers and trolls to shape the net narrative or gum up the works) but tech is actually making insurgency more viable.

Author:  WalterCan [ Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Demographics or

Yes, the good news is that little by little we are getting closer. The current power brokers are less and less influential each cycle. At some point a grass roots conservative is going to break through and win. I don't know if it will be 2016 or 2020, or how long it will be, but I sincerely believe it will be in my lifetime, and it can set the stage for permanent change in this country. Once a true grass roots conservative can break through and win the White House they can show what can be done by bringing people together to solve problems.

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